Adam was born into a bohemian household in 1950 during the heyday of New York’s Greenwich Village. His father, along with Mark Rothko and other abstract impressionist painters formed the avant guard "Group of Ten." At the age of 14, he started experimenting with his own camera. By the age of 17 he was working in New York’s intense world of fashion photography.

In the early 70's he left the fashion industry to travel the world taking various jobs to support himself. For Adam, "It was great to be traveling then. It was a real education, because it helped me relate to other people in almost any situation."

His first book "El Salvador" (W.W.Norton, 1990) documented that country's civil war and can be viewed in part at  Atlas Magazine.

Adam went on to work for various magazines and newspapers including the San Francisco Examiner. In addition to this he continued to do freelance photography in Nicaragua, Honduras and Vietnam.

In 1991 he began work on "Cuba" (W.W.Norton, 1994) , a photographic essay of the daily life of Cubans which received outstanding reviews and was also featured in  Atlas Magazine.

With his latest book "Flowers: Portraits of Intimacy" (Stuart, Tabori and Chang, 2001), Adam examines the primal and exotic beauty of flowers.

In addition to his one person shows in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Miami he has been a part of numerous group shows in cities across the United States. His black and white photographs of Vietnam have won Best of Show at San Francisco's Eye Gallery. Adam was also the First Place winner in Hanoi’s first ever photographic competition to have included foreign photographers.

Adam has done cover stories on El Salvador and Iraq for The San Francisco Examiner and Chronicle Sunday Magazine. His work has also been seen in People, Outside, Spanish Geo, Parenting, and various other publications around the country.

His photography was the backdrop of "Blues for El Salvador" a benefit concert with Santana, Jerry Garcia, and Bonnie Rait.

Adam has also collaborated with Mariel Hemingway on Microsoft Expedia’s on-line travel and adventure magazine  "Mungo Park".